A TIMPERLEY man has been jailed for life after murdering the mother of his son.

Mark Astall, 25, of Hartford Gardens, pleaded guilty to murdering his former girlfriend Lee-Anne Brown and to two counts of rape and two counts of sexual assault.

Today (May 29) he was sentenced to life imprisonment with a minimum term of 23 years at Manchester Crown Court, Crown Square.

He was also ordered to sign the Sex Offenders' Register for life.

Lee-Anne, aged 21, had been in a relationship with Astall for several years.

They lived together with their young son but Lee-Anne was unhappy with Astall.

A holiday they took together failed to rekindle their relationship and Lee-Anne started bringing their relationship to an end in autumn 2008.

Around that time, a friend witnessed Astall say to her “if you ever find anyone else I'll kill you”.

Astall agreed to move out of their home.

On the morning of October 6, Lee-Anne had been exchanging text messages with a man she had very recently started seeing.

During that day, Lee-Anne told a friend that Astall had managed to get hold of her phone and read the messages and that it was about time he realised the relationship was over.

Astall went out to work and then for drinks with his brother.

During the day he posted three messages on his Facebook account indicating he finally accepted Lee-Anne was moving on, that it was out of his hands but he was not happy about it.

At about 10pm, neighbours were woken by the sound of shouting and arguing, and later described it to officers that it sounded like someone was being tortured.

At about 10.50pm, Astall phoned his father and said “I'm sorry dad, I've killed her”.

His parents rushed to their flat and found Lee-Anne unconscious with marks to her neck.

She was taken to Wythenshawe Hospital where attempts to revive her were made but failed.

A post mortem revealed she died as a result of pressure to the neck.

Detective Constable Tony Lomax, of the Major Incident Team, said: "Horrific does not begin to describe what Astall did to the woman he was supposed to have loved, the mother of his child, that night.

"Their little boy, who was in the flat with them while all of this took place, will grow up without his mother and with his father behind bars.

"I would encourage anyone who is a victim of domestic abuse to speak out. At GMP we have specially trained officers who can support victims from the initial report and throughout the whole process."

In a statement, Lee-Anne's family said: "We glad justice has finally been done.

"The sentence he has received is nothing in comparison to the pain and suffering he caused to Lee-ann, and in turn her family.

"He has also destroyed his own son's life.

"She will always be deeply missed and loved."